Forest Hotels in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to a wide range of hotels, from charming boutique accommodations in Galle to serene yoga retreats on the beach. But for those seeking a deeper connection with nature, there are 11 forest hotels that offer breathtaking mountain views, enchanting tea plantations, and thrilling outdoor adventures.

Bar Reef Resort

Located on Sri Lanka’s northwest coastline, Bar Reef Resort is a tranquil and romantic eco-retreat. Imagine feeling the warm sand between your toes as you step off your terrace, and waking up to the gentle rustling of palm leaves. The resort offers cozy garden or beach cabanas, as well as larger villas, each with a rustic charm and private terrace overlooking lush tropical gardens or the sparkling sea. Don’t miss the infinity pool, where you can relax while gazing at the calm ocean and lazy palm trees. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins or whales from the shoreline or enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, or deep-sea fishing.

98 Acres Resort & Spa

Set amidst a former tea estate, 98 Acres Resort & Spa is a hidden paradise. Its charming chalets are nestled snugly into the lush surroundings, offering breathtaking views of the landscape and Little Adam’s Peak, which you can hike to from the hotel. The detached chalets, made from recycled railway sleepers and thatched straw, provide rustic luxury at its finest. Explore the natural beauty of the area on one of the many hiking trails, cool off in the pool, or take a tour of the tea gardens. Whether you’re on a family adventure or an unforgettable getaway, this unique resort is the perfect choice.

98 Acres offers a wild setting as one of Sri Lanka

The Mudhouse

For a truly off-the-beaten-track experience, The Mudhouse is unmatched. Surrounded by serene lakes, wildlife, and birdlife, this remote and private retreat offers a sustainable way to explore Sri Lanka. The huts, each tailored to the requirements of guests, feature outdoor showers and lantern-lit evenings, creating a unique and unforgettable experience. Nature trails and lakeside picnics await those who crave exploration, while cooking lessons and delicious meals prepared using the resort’s own garden produce promise relaxation and culinary delight.

The Ark

Tucked away on the southwest coast, The Ark is an elevated villa perched high on stilts, offering stunning views of the rolling valley and hills below. With its cool infinity pool, terraces, and floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll feel completely immersed in the wild surroundings. This exclusive hotel, featuring only three double rooms, welcomes eco-travelers, adventure-seekers, and those looking for a relaxing hideaway. An on-site chef caters to your every culinary desire, using fresh local ingredients. Spend your days exploring the hotel’s private reserve, walking nature trails, bird watching, or photographing wildlife.

The rooms at Gal Oya lodge offer a rustic, natural interior

Melheim Resort

Surrounded by tea plantations and cloud forests, Melheim Resort offers a secluded and serene setting. Perched on a mountainside, the resort provides mesmerizing views of the sunrise over nearby peaks, illuminating the breathtaking landscape below. The rooms are designed with mindfulness, simplicity, and relaxation in mind, ensuring that guests leave feeling restored and harmonious with their surroundings.

Gal Oya Lodge

While Yala and Bundala National Parks attract hordes of tourists, Gal Oya remains relatively undiscovered. This national park boasts the country’s largest lake, allowing visitors to embark on boat safaris to spot wildlife. Gal Oya Lodge, the only place to stay within the national park, specializes in high-end, eco-friendly tourism. Constructed from locally-sourced and recycled materials, the 9-room lodge provides a perfect sanctuary to reconnect with nature. Enjoy jungle drives, naturalist walks, or simply relax by the pool. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

The rooms at Gal Oya lodge feature rustic, natural interiors

Wild Grass

Located in the remote and rugged Kandalama hills, Wild Grass is a natural hideaway spread across 30 acres of jungle. With sweeping views of mountains, lush vegetation, and a nearby lake, this retreat is a nature lover’s dream. The resort offers eight exclusive villas, ensuring privacy and relaxation for all guests. Constructed with locally sourced materials and featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, each villa seamlessly blends with the natural surroundings. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy spotting monkeys, wild boar, deer, peacocks, and over 40 species of birds. Within a short drive, you can visit two of Sri Lanka’s main attractions: Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Cave Temples.

Mas Villa

Nestled close to Kandy, Mas Villa provides a stylish escape in natural surroundings. This 19th-century manor house boasts seven luxurious and beautifully appointed bedrooms. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens teeming with exotic birds and wildlife, the villa offers numerous walking trails and mountain biking opportunities. Recharge at the on-site spa or witness the magnificence of the crystal-clear skies while dining on the veranda, overlooking breathtaking views.

With a view like this, Madulkelle is an obvious choice for one of Sri Lanka

Ulagalla Resort

Surrounded by 58 acres of lush greenery, paddy fields, and woodland, Ulagalla Resort is a 150-year-old mansion transformed into an exquisite eco-friendly getaway. With its own solar farm generating half of its energy requirements, this resort offers a truly unique stay in Sri Lanka. Guests can enjoy activities such as bird watching, cycling, meditation at the Veheragalla Buddhist temple, yoga, kayaking, and horseback riding. It also serves as a perfect base for exploring Anuradhapura and the Cultural Triangle, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking an immersive experience.


For travelers seeking a hotel close to Galle, Illuketia is the perfect choice. This historic plantation house, almost 200 years old, offers character and an incredible setting. Surrounded by stunning gardens, paddy fields, tea estates, and Sinhalese villages, each room boasts high ceilings, tasteful decorations, and an exceptional view. The hotel’s pool, nestled amidst lush palms and jungle, offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Explore the estate and discover its wide variety of bird species, plants, mammals, and reptiles.

Best hotels in Sri Lanka for nature lovers

Madulkelle Tea & Eco-Lodge

Perched in the picturesque Knuckles Mountain range, Madulkelle Tea & Eco-Lodge is an enchanting colonial-style plantation offering modern comforts. The resort’s 18 secluded lodges, each with its own balcony overlooking the tea garden, provide a comfortable and authentic experience. These luxury tents, imported from South Africa, ensure that guests wake up to birdsong and mist-shrouded valleys every morning. With activities ranging from touring tea factories to hiking on some of the country’s best trails, this lodge is an essential stop on any Sri Lankan adventure.

Taking a trip to Sri Lanka: how to get started

At DHPL Travels, we have been empowering travelers with unique knowledge for over 40 years. Our experts can help you plan and book your trip to Sri Lanka. Browse our existing trips here or get in touch with us to tailor a personalized itinerary that suits your interests and budget. We’ll work with you until you’re completely satisfied.

Looking for an alternative type of trip? Check out our top 10 boutique hotels in Sri Lanka or explore Galle’s chicest boutiques. If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation, discover our favorite ways to recharge in Galle Fort.

This article was published on 2nd September, 2016.

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